Editor’s note: This post was originally written during the first Sydney lockdown of 2020. It has been updated to account for recent conditions in 2021
Crying over my workplace closing
I’ve been a sex worker on and off for ten years, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. For the last three years I’ve been working at a massage parlour full time (aside from occasional stretches of involuntary unemployment thanks to Covid), and I’ve never been happier. Christmas 2019 had been busy and January 2020 had been slow – everything was as it usually is.
So I was just cruising along, loving my job, paying my rent and trying to quit smoking (again) when suddenly the COVID-19 apocalypse came and less than two weeks later we were all unemployed.
I was pretty annoyed, and I handled it really maturely, too. I ate a lot of chocolate, smoked a decent amount of pot, daydreamed about my regulars, reluctantly took up nude yoga (so I could say I didn’t waste my time in isolation) and then reluctantly started considering my options.
Making the decision to go online
So, the massage parlour was closed. I was making $0 and life was…not wonderful. Several workers I knew had set up OnlyFans recently, but I was too nervous to do it myself.
In the corner of my room, next to my brand new yoga mat, sat a bag full of fancy make up, lingerie, a hip flask (empty) and some loose change from my work locker. A few weeks after I’d lost my job, a combination of boredom and panicking about my decided lack of funds set in. The lack of interaction and engagement with other humans – not to mention going a month without being touched – was driving me crazy.
I just needed a bit of a push in the right direction. Finally, after I’d tripped over that bag a hundred times, I put on my lingerie, had a shot of tequila, got in front of my camera and let loose. It did not go well.
But I got better. Half the battle of going online is working out what each online platform is for.
On OnlyFans you can post as much explicit content as you like, but you’re not allowed to discuss anything ‘real’ with subscribers. In fact, words such as ‘meet’ are actually banned in DMs – your message won’t be sent if Big Brother detects banned words. It has also started to crack down on kink content – which is incredibly inconvenient since I post mostly hardcore BDSM and fetish content.
On Twitter, you’re technically supposed to keep it MA, but I’ve yet to see a post explicit enough to get someone banned – and wow have I seen a lot of posts. On Instagram as we all know they will ban you if you even think about nudity, or if you write the word “OnlyFans” or sometimes even “client” (no, I’m not joking – the internet’s war on sex workers is alive and well). Plus, there’s keyboard warriors everywhere trying to do the digital equivalent of a “Pretty Woman” rescue and report us all to some type of authority or out us to our families “for our own good”. It’s a lot to get your head around.
Letting your confidence grow
Once you’ve gotten past the shock of people actually wanting to pay to see you nude, tied up & doing unspeakable things with other human beings, your confidence starts to grow.
One of the weirdest things about taking photos and making videos of yourself – especially parts of your body that you can’t always see very well – is that there’s nobody to tell you if you look good. When I bend over and shake my ass in a booking, there’s a client right behind me, watching and (hopefully) telling me how hot I am.
At home, you just have to kind of check yourself out, hope that you’ve done a decent job and cross your fingers that your subscribers enjoy seeing you naked enough to forgive a few less-than-perfect photographs. The trick is to remind yourself that you can always delete them and never show anyone if they didn’t turn out exactly how you wanted them to.
Actually enjoying yourself (and making bank)
If the massage parlour spa was my favourite place to shake my booty, then OnlyFans is now a close second. It’s given me back the structure of having a job, but it’s also freed me from time constraints. I can upload content whenever I like, and schedule content to be posted ahead of time. If I want, I can work hard all weekend to make enough content for the week, and then sit back and let it roll out while I smoke and write articles in bed with my cat. I can draft, edit and delete my content as I see fit. I choose my prices, I control my own content, I engage 1-to-1 with my subscribers and I have gotten back in touch with a fair few of my real-life clients. It was a little bit of trial and error, and then a few more errors (mostly on Twitter) but it’s a solid side hustle until the massage parlour is open for business again. And since I’ve been doing yoga twice a day to stave off isolation boredom, hopefully my booty will look extra good by the time it does.
😘 Skye xx